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222                             THE GAY GENIUS

peasant woman coming towards him, and kneeling before him, she
presented him with a paper containing a complaint. Then the ghost
disappeared. He thought he had put the paper in his pocket, but after
coming home he found that the paper was gone, too. He died of fright
the next day.

When Su Tungpo had reached the fertile valley of Kiangsu, he was
fascinated by the beauty and atmosphere of the region. While travelling
between Nanking and.Chinkiang, he was busy shaping his plans for
buying a farm and a homestead somewhere in the lake district. His
position was this: since the Emperor was willing to shift him from
Huangchow to another place, he could be enticed into granting per-
mission later for him to settle elsewhere. Everywhere he went, he was
looking for a place for retirement in his old age. His many friends
made different suggestions. His Buddhist friend, Foyin, wanted him to
settle in Yangchow, where he himself had his farm. Fan Chen wishecf
him to settle in Shiishia as his neighbour. He had an eye on a beautiful
pine forest on Suanshan in Tantu. But all these plans fell through. The
chief magistrate of Yichen, north of the Yangtse River near Nanking,
urged him to come and stay with him, and although he had no idea of
settling at Yichen, he was glad to find a place there for the temporary
stay of his family. So while his family was put up at the district college
of Yichen, Tungpo was free to go about visiting different places in
search of a country home.

Finally one of his most intimate friends, Ten Yuanfa, persuaded him
to settle in Changchow district, at Ishing, on the left bank of the Taihu^
Lake. Ten was now magistrate of Huchow on the south of the lake?
Between the two of them, they hatched a plan for Su to buy a farm at
Ishing and then petition the Emperor for permission to stay there on the
ground that the farm was his only means of support. A relative of Ten's
was able to find a farm some twenty miles from the city of Ishing, deep
in the mountains. It was a fair-sized property that would yield eight
hundred piculs of rice a year and should support the Su family com-
fortably. Su had only a few hundred dollars left, besides the house his
father had bought at the capital, which he had asked Fan Chen to sell
for him for about eight hundred dollars.

In September he went down alone to see the country farm. "Th^
moment I go up the Ching River I feel completely at home, as if the
wish of my life had been granted. Can it be that this was destined in
my previous existence? I love to plant things, especially oranges, and I
can graft my own fruit trees. Ishing is right on the lake and is just the,
place for an orange farm. I must buy a little orchard here and plant
three hundred orange trees. October 2,1084,^ written on a boat." Later
fee also bought another farm, from the government. There was some